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back to article Google: Go public on Profiles or we'll delete you

Google's efforts to get more Web2.0-social online have had an interesting but not altogether surprising side-effect: Profiles will no longer be hidden from view as of the end of this month. The company, which is busily crafting a social network dubbed Google+, has put the policy on how it handles its user profiles on notice. …

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Guess who never created a profile?

Yep. Me.

I suggest just letting them delete everything, or pre-emptively deleting (or falsifying) everything yourself. If everyone does that, Google get fuck all. They'll change their tune faster than Steve Jobs facing a developer rebellion.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't see your point.

You seem to be making the common mistake of assuming that everybody will protest. As Google have pointed out, most profiles on their services are already public. This means that the vast majority of their users don't object to having a public profile. I don't supposed they are particularly bothered about losing a tiny percentage of their users.

Kind of reminds me of the comments that get posted every time ebay change their T&Cs or charges. There's always a handful of commentards claiming that everybody will stop using ebay and the tat bazaar will go bust. It never happens though does it?

I'm no fan of Google and don't use their services when I can avoid it, however I can't see them having any problems with the majority of sheep when it comes to this little matter.

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Meh

Yeah right

Did you miss the part where Facebook requires proof of identity in the form of a government issues ID to get back into a temporarily disabled account, and that people provide it? The average person out there has no compunction about giving out their info to anyone who asks. The trivial percentage of people who would delete or falsify their info wouldn't concern Google at all. In fact, I'm as sure as I can be that they've already factored that into their decision and said "Meh. Who cares."

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no compunction about giving out their info

Nope your average person does care about giving out their info. Your average facebook using moron doesn't, or does but doesn't understand what they are doing, or does and is giving out false information anyway.

Opting out of a network full or morons is no great loss to me.

Strangely I did provide some personal information to a network the other day in exchange for the chance of a large financial gain (gain divided by chance about 50 quid). Win or loose I will be deleting the account and creating a new false one.

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Reminds me of when I called up sky last night

The robot was collecting info from me before handing me off to a drone:

Robot: What is your telephone number

Me: zero two zero five .... (Can't they get that from the phone call)

Robot: What is your post code

Me: eee one five ...

Robot: What is your date of birth

Me: Go fuck yourself

Robot: What is your date of birth

Me: ....

Robot: Please hold whilst I transfer you to an operator

where as I imagine your average Sky Sports subscriber would hand over their date of birth, NI number, mothers maiden name and the 4th, 5th and second from last digits of their bank security code if it stopped them watching their football.

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FAIL

Said it before...say it again...

If anyone is STUPID enough to put personal info on ANY of these lame "social networking" sites...then you should bloody well deal with the consequences...and don't whine when you get stalked...harassed...etc.

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FAIL

That's exacty what they want you to do

As far as they're concerned youre basically deadweight, sucking the bandwidth and cycles away from normal users that don't run adblock, have nice easy to target profiles and click on the money links every now and again.

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What would "Robot" do if you grunted like a cross of

a drunken Khaddis the Mummy+a drunken Thai mangling Cambodian+pretending to be partially mute?

"NGwee--Huhh-Yhang -hoo.... khowa khaw kuhh.... nn/gggg"? (that "nnnngggg" is enunciated as the sound of volts/watts/amps/sparks scintillatingly waking up Frankenstein... under-watted.... under-amped... so, you writhe and shake but cannot sit upright ...

It might say, "Isss..S.t.a.n.d. ..by.... a...s. I .c.o.n.n.e.c....t y..o.u. ... to a Klingon-speaking on-call mental therapist in Portland or Corvallis, Oregon, United States, Earth..."

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Devil

@Tom 38

Nice, but you could get more creative with your phone number. I use the White House comments line just for fun. I often wonder how many telemarketers they get because of it and then, oddly, I get a warm happy feeling inside.

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Re. Guess who never created a profile?

So is "Gale" not your real name then?

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Anonymous Coward

@AC - Yeah Right

"Did you miss the part where Facebook requires proof of identity in the form of a government issues ID to get back into a temporarily disabled account, and that people provide it?"

Actually that's a bit of a red herring to be fair. This is only the case when an account has been disabled and the owner wants to re-enable it and even then it's not every time. IOW it's not a particularly common occurence. IOW "most people" do not provide it, becase most people are never asked for it.

And the significant thing about people using false names is that the name they use is false (well duh!) so they are not losing anything worthwhile if they lose the account so they are likely to just set up a new one under a new false name. And even so has it occured to you how easy it would be to produce a fake scanned copy of a driving licence. It's not like they will be checking these licences with the issuing authority, so you just scan a genuine licence and bugger about with it in an image editor.

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Re: Said it before...say it again...

There is a wonderful presentation about Google and how it tracks you by Marlinspike I believe. One of the main topics of that presentation is that there are certain social implications of NOT participating in these common social technology driven systems. When the majority of those around you are using a service like Facebook and key social events live and grow from within Facebook such as Social Gathering Invites and communications it becomes much more than just dealing with the consequences of having your personal details potentially exposed. By not participating you run the risk of segregating yourself socially from what is arguably a very large number of people.

So it is not really a matter of stupidity it boils down to a willingness to comply rather than question for their own personal gain the fastest.

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I hate the fact you are correct

Most people are sheep. If we were not sheep then we would fight everything. The people who are not sheep are called criminals, business men, conspiracy theorists and too smart for their own good.

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@ L1feless

My social group is already at the point of needing to be on Facebook, otherwise you miss out on things.

My main social circles, about 30-40 people, ranging in age from early 20s, through to mid 50s, and are all, with one exception, on Facebook.

I watch a lot of live acts, bands, comedians etc. and all the local venues that do this kind of thing are on Facebook, and most of the bands I see regularly are also on there.

So it's very easy to see, in one place, what is going on, when and where, without having to go looking around all over the place, or on individual venues web sites etc. And as Facebook use an Open standard for their Events calendar, this is easily added to things like Google calender, so all the events and details from Facebook automatically show up on my phone. (Android)

This makes organising nights out, letting other people know what's going on etc a breeze.

But this does mean our one friend who won't sign up, gets left out now, as someone has to remember to call or text him every time something new is going on, or details have changed.

I have very little personal info on there, I don't play games, and I don't normally read the friend news feeds etc.

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"So is "Gale" not your real name then?"

I don't know, is it?

Is Paul yours?

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@L1feless

"By not participating you run the risk of segregating yourself socially from what is arguably a very large number of people."

Given that that very large number number of people has a collective level of sophistication and awareness that rivals a warm mushroom, being segregated from them rather works for me.

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Mushroom

Do you REALLY think I give a Rat's Arse...

...about the "social implications of NOT participating in these common social technology driven systems."?

I choose to LEAD...not FOLLOW.

I refuse to be a Lemming...PERIOD.

"By not participating you run the risk of segregating yourself socially from what is arguably a very large number of people."

I've managed to ge through six decades of life without "social networking" so far...I'll take my chances.

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Flame

a

And that's exactly the issue - no one REALLY needs to keep in contact with 30 - 40 people. They aren't friends, they are acquaintances who you hang around with to bulk out the numbers when you go out so you feel more popular.

If you were actually friends with any of them you wouldn't need facebook because you would be in direct contact with them regularly.

Chances are the 1 guy who is now being missed out actually doesn't really like you and you don't really like him either.

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me neither

I just checked, and I don't have a google profile to begin with. That's just fine with me, because I don't understand the importance of networking. It turns out that networking is just not enough to get by in today's heady world of business both monkey and otherwise. What you really need is to build your own personal brand. If you've ever overheard (or imagined that you overheard) people talking about your own brand of crazy, or your own brand of idiocy, you need to emphasize your craziness and/or stupidity. Do something memorable, and your personal brand will soar in value.

PS why does it look like this entire post is a quote? I'm trying to improve my personal brand by only posting my own word salad.

PPS we need vegetarian alternatives to poutine and parmo

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WTF?

What exactly the point of a private profile anyway?

Does one look at it and feel all proud that only you and Google know what you've put on it?

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Re: What exactly the point of a private profile anyway?

You are right, there is no point to a private profile. The problem is that some people created accounts to use GMail privately, not necessarily to access a social network; and then Google decided that all accounts are "profiles," and therefore need to be public in the social network.

-dZ.

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Re[2]: What exactly the point of a private profile anyway?

No...

I have gmail and more, and I checked, I have no profile, and don't need one to continue using gmail.

So given that to use what Google currently offer (Not G+ I imagine) you don't need a profile at all, what is the point of a private profile?

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Re[2]: What exactly etc

He didn't say "you", he said "some people". It isn't always about you, you know.

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Alert

Here's one..

Will Google delete accounts even if you don't have a profile setup? My GAccount says "You do not have a profile setup. Begin now." or something similar, would Google see this as a private profile and delete me?

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Clarification?

I think they are saying that they will delete your profile if it is private, and not delete your account.

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Yep

I just deleted my private profile, but still have access to GMail.

I did get a stern-looking warning that all of my Buzz posts would be deleted (0) and that I would lose access to all of the feeds I was following on Buzz (0) as well as all of my followers on Buzz (0).

TBH, it was Google who co-opted me into Buzz in the first place without asking, so it's not as if I'm losing anything here, but the whole point of the service was about sharing stuff. Having an account that was completely secret rather defeats the point, like joining LinkedIn with a false name.

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Or not

"Having an account that was completely secret rather defeats the point, like joining LinkedIn with a false name."

A lot of people actually have a small group of friends with whom they want to stay in touch. What we don't want is some oik we don't know 'friending' them. I don't want some random stranger knowing what I'm doing and when I'll be away (so they can break into the house) but I do want my friends to know (so they can keep an eye on the house, or possibly go on holiday with me). For that purpose a false name (known to my friends) is fine (indeed, at least one group of my friends normally calls me by a name not on my birth certificate).

LinkedIn is a totally different thing, because the main purpose of that is indeed to let strangers find me and offer me jobs, and for that the real name (as known to HMRC) is needed.

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WTF?

so...

why not just ask them?

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nice

imma go and delete my profile right now and i hope you're right i keep gmail, cos i kinda like to use gmail :)

but if it goes, sigh. i'll just go back to a local email client. they say thunderbird has a new version out...

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Happy

What if you don't have a profile at all?

I have several Google accounts but none of them have a profile. I get prompted to create a profile when I login.

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Facebook

And how many people do you know who have accounts on Facebook under false names? It's hardly uncommon.

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ummmmmm no one actually

I know no one that use false names Facebook.

An look through random combinations of names of Facebook I suspect it very rare for people to use false names, probably in the single digit millions.

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Paris Hilton

Really...

I've got three...

Handy for all those facebook games when my real friends aren’t quick enough giving me knurled flange brackets so I can build my atomic chicken pucker.

So if google block any of my accounts I just have to send them a photoshopped... sorry photocopy of my passport????

Paris, I wouldn’t mind poking her

SIgned: Otto Malcolm Peter Brian Telescope Adrian Umbrella Stand Jasper Wednesday (pops mouth twice) Stoatgobbler John Raw Vegetable (whinnying) Arthur Norman Michael (blows squeaker) Featherstone Smith (whistle) Northgot Edwards Harris (fires pistol, then 'whoop') Mason (chuff-chuff-chuff-chuff) Frampton Jones Fruitbat (laughs) (squeaker) Gilbert (sings) 'We'll keep a welcome in the' (three shots) Williams If I Could Walk That Way Jenkin (squeaker) Tiger-drawers Pratt Thompson (sings) 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' Darcy Carter (horn) Pussycat (sings) 'Don't Sleep In The Subway' Barton Mainwaring (hoot, 'whoop') Von Krakenfart

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Heartily agree!

Field Marshal Von Krakenfart sez on 07.07.11 @17:12gmt:

"I've got three...

Handy for all those facebook games when my real friends aren’t quick enough giving me knurled flange brackets so I can build my atomic chicken pucker.

So if google block any of my accounts I just have to send them a photoshopped... sorry photocopy of my passport????"

My Facebook "identity" consists of an entirely false name (the pseudonym I use to sign my cartoons), bogus birthday, bogus location, no professional or educational details, no favorite movies/tv shows/books/music listed, basically no info of any value.

You're reading my mind on the passport, too; I'm damned good with Photoshop, and already have a high-res scan of my and my wife's passports saved in case of travel emergencies. Heh heh. All I need's a random mug shot lifted from thesmokinggun.com, and I'm set.

Sincerely,

Yer pal,

Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern- schplenden- schlitter- crasscrenbon- fried- digger- dingle- dangle- dongle- dungle- burstein- von- knacker- thrasher- apple- banger- horowitz- ticolensic- grander- knotty- spelltinkle- grandlich- grumblemeyer- spelterwasser- kurstlich- himbleeisen- bahnwagen- gutenabend- bitte- ein- nürnburger- bratwustle- gerspurten- mitz- weimache- luber- hundsfut- gumberaber- shönedanker- kalbsfleisch- mittler- aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm.

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Re: Fieldmarshal

You wouldn't happen to be distantly related to: Otto Malcolm Peter Brian Telescope Adrian Umbrella Stand Jasper Wednesday (pops mouth twice) Stoatgobbler John Raw Vegetable (whinnying) Arthur Norman Michael (blows squeaker) Featherstone Smith (whistle) Northgot Edwards Harris (fires pistol, then 'whoop') Mason (chuff-chuff-chuff-chuff) Frampton Jones Fruitbat (laughs) (squeaker) Gilbert (sings) 'We'll keep a welcome in the' (three shots) Williams If I Could Walk That Way Jenkin (squeaker) Tiger-drawers Pratt Thompson (sings) 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' Darcy Carter (horn) Pussycat (sings) 'Don't Sleep In The Subway' Barton Mainwaring (hoot, 'whoop') Raindrops keep falling on me head Von Krakenfart, would you?

As for Google, they can go fornicate themselves, along with FB

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Re. Heartily agree!

So is "Mike Flugennock" an alias then?

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@Krakenfart

There isn't a signature line on any form in the world (even in France) long enough to hold that!

Nicely done...

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WTF?

Request for clarification

I don't follow exactly. What do they mean by "deleting your profile"? If you don't create a public one by month's end, what exactly happens (assuming like 99% of Gmail users, you've never even been aware of "profiles", public or otherwise)?

Do they also shitcan all your mail, Docs, sites validated in Webmaster Tools, Picasa albums, etc? I assume not, as that would entail serious uproar among those who didn't get the memo. The extent of what this will actually mean isn't at all clear to me.

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They'd better not

They haven't sent me any email telling me that I have to create a profile for using GMail, Docs, etc. so if they do delete those things without warning (finding out via El Reg is not warning from Google) there will be complaints. Not that I expect them to undelete anything, but I have said for a long time that anyone who puts information on a third-party system and doesn't back it up locally deserves to lose it.

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Black Helicopters

No friends for the paranoid

So if you're even a little paranoid about giving out your personal details online, you aren't going to be allowed to join the big happy sharing club. Which will probably make you more paranoid.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

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Nothing to hide

"If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."

Everybody has something to hide though

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Devil

Re: Nothing to hide

Do they? What are you hiding?

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Black Helicopters

Nothing to hide...

Daryl, what is your home address and when are you next on holidays? Wait, nevermind, got it off your profile. Enjoy your trip, I hear the weather is very nice there this time of year. Nothing to fear whatsoever.

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Facepalm

Sarcasm Icon Required

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Daryl

"What are you hiding?"

My privacy.

Is that so hard for you to understand.

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RE Nothing to hide

"Do they? What are you hiding?"

You know, stuff...

Things like: opinions on topics and people that I have since changed or grown out of; employment history from times when I didn't really care, purchase history of products that indicate my behaviour (e.g. rizlas); social connections with people that other groups of people might disprove of.

In fact, anything that falls into the category of something I won't deny if you ask me directly but that I would prefer to just remain unnoticed

It's not just the obvious stuff like your address and NI number. Privacy is a serious issue. You feel will naked when it's gone

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Coat

Re: What are you hiding?

Your wife's lipstick...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sarcasm Icon Required #

No icon required, you just need more practice.

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Big Brother

And if you really don't have anything to hide now...

...just let things continue unchecked for long enough and the goalposts will surely have moved far enough that you *will* have something to hide.

By then it'll be way too late to do anything about it.

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Happy

"Everybody has something to hide though"

Except, of course, for John Lennon and his monkey.

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